The CIX VFR Club The Stapleford Gang
Club Events - Popular Flying Association Annual Rally
Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire
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The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - Popular Flying Association Annual Rally
Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire Briefing by: Tim Arnot.
 Briefing Sunday 11th July 2004  
Popular Flying Association A long established club mainly for amateur aircraft builders and owners of rare, old or unusual privately owned aircraft (including some ex-RAF fighters). Their annual rally is an event to be visited at least once in a lifetime by all aviation enthusiasts. VATSIM are running this event in parallel, and hopefully, we will be joining many other light aircraft on the evening.

Download the Vatsim UK briefing document. (As of 20/01/10 no longer available)

Start Time Kemble will be manned 18:30 to 21:30 ZULU. Meeting time at Biggin Hill confirmed as 18:00 ZULU.
Start Location The General Aviation Apron at Biggin Hill.
Airmanship This will be a challenging flight once we get past Oxford, because the navigation waypoints are not going to be as visible FS as they are in the real world. However, we are getting on well in the area of disciplined flying, so we shouldn't have many problems. But it will be an unfamiliar route, unfamiliar landing, lots of traffic. Maintain altitude and heading accurately. Talk to ATC. State your intentions. Request assistance EARLY if you have a problem. Keep a good lookout for traffic. We no longer fly alone!.
Flight Plan Our route will be (unless otherwise required by the event controllers) Biggin Hill - Dartford - Stapleford - Bovington VOR - Oxford (Kidlington aerodrome) Northleach Roundabout (Rally Visual Reference point 12 in the CAA briefing and 12 nm NNE of Kemble) - the Lakes Turn Point (Rally Visual Reference point 6 in the CAA briefing and probably under Kemble ATC control by then) - Kemble. This is identified as the SWORD route in the CAA briefing, except that we will track to Northleach Roundabout from Oxford, not from Daventry.
Detailed Flight Planning Information can now be downloaded in Microsoft Excel format - Qikplanner or, if you prefer, there is an FS Navigator version. The Qikplanner headings differ from the FSNav headings, although the distances are the same. It is probably best to use the FSNav headings as they are derived from FS, not from real world data, which Qikplanner is.
Note: In the interests of safety, and to ensure we are not at a disadvantage compared with other virtual pilots, the use of GPS will be permitted for this flight.

Radio Discipline


We have problems with ATC dialogue being cut across by Teamspeak dialogue. What real world pilots do is to stop any in-cabin conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". In our case this is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. The only way I can think to solve this in the short term, is to be very brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will).
Flying the route

Download the Malmesbury Water Tower waypoint to add to your scenery for the trip! (Thanks to David H)

Download the Cirencester Park waypoint to add to your scenery for the trip! (Thanks to David H)

Download the Cirencester Park Folly to add to your scenery for a bit of amusement en route! (Thanks to David H)

The section from Biggin Hill to Dartford is straightfoward. You should cross the Thames just by the bridge and power station. Continuing to Stapleford, check your watch, as the airfield is rather hard to see. From Dartford to Stapleford is 11nm which will take just over 6.5 minutes in nil wind. You can use the LAM VOR/DME if you prefer. Frequency 115.60.

From Stapleford fly a track of 288 degrees to Oxford. Tune in the Bovingdon VOR if you wish (113.75) on your NAV 2 radio as you will pass just north of it after about 15 minutes. About 34 minutes from Stapleford you should reach Oxford. After leaving Stapleford, tune in the OX NDB (367.5) and head where the arrow points when it comes on line about 20 minutes after leaving Stapleford. Pass overhead Oxford, not below 2000 feet.

Now comes the first tricky bit - finding Northleach Roundabout. It will be on the VFR scenery of course, but not the FS default scenery. If you think finding it visually will be difficult, you can either navigate by VOR/DME pairs, or Enter the VRP coordinates into the GPS and navigate by that. If using the VORs, tune Daventry on NAV 1 and Bovingdon on NAV2. You will probably make your first radio call to Kemble from Northleach Roundabout, so it is important to arrive there accurately. In FS Northleach roundabout is 33.3nm on a bearing of 235 degrees from Daventry VOR (116.40), and 47nm on a bearing of 280 degrees from Bovingdon VOR (113.75).

Overhead Northleach Roundabout, turn south 225 degrees and look for the town of Cirencester on your left. Tune in Compton VOR (114.35) on NAV 2 to replace Bovingdon. When the town is in your 10 o'clock, you will be very close to your next turning point, "NW Cirencester" on the SWORD route.
In FS, this turning point on the north west side of Cirencester has no visible ground clue, although in the VFR scenery you should see a large area of wooded parkland with several distinctive long straight "rides" (18th century roads for horses on large private estates) running through it. Check out the aerial views in the CAA briefing. Also, download the scenery file for Cirencester Park (see left column). It is 42.8nm on a bearing of 230 degrees from Daventry VOR (116.40), and 31.7nm on a bearing of 300 degrees from Compton VOR (114.35).

Now turn heading 174 degrees and aim for a group of lakes directly ahead. These are in the default FS scenery and VFR scenery). Head for the most westerly one which you should reach in about 2 minutes. This is the "Lakes Turn" on the SWORD route.
In FS, Lakes Turn is 45.1nm on a bearing of 230 degrees from Daventry VOR (116.40), and 29.8nm on a bearing of 290 degrees from Compton VOR (114.35).

If the Visibility is good, you will be able to see Kemble by now. From Lakes Turn, you now have to find Malmsbury Water Tower. (Bearing 282 degrees from Compon VOR : 32.9 nautical miles). Because things don't stick up in FS, this will be impossible visually unless you have installed the Water Tower scenery file (see left column). Simply fly the track (236 degrees) for 2 minutes 35 seconds and you will be there. If you have the VFR Scenery, you will see the village of Malmsbury ahead. Be sure to turn north before overflying the village. You will be talking to Kemble by now, and after reporting overhead the Water Tower, you will fly the approach shown on pages 10 (for runway 26) and 12 (for runway 08) of the CAA briefing. We shall use the hard runway.

Vertical Navigation: A word about Altitudes to fly. From Biggin, we will be restricted to 2400 feet maximum because of the London TMA above. Seven miles west of Bovingdon, you can climb if cloud permits. Overhead Oxford we must be at least 2000 feet on the Oxford QFE, 2270 feet minimum on the QNH. The rest of the route is restricted to a maximum of 3500 feet until we get to the Water Tower. The final leg from the Water Tower to Kemble must be flown not above 2000 feet. You then have to descend to circuit height during the base leg for the landing runway, whichever it is.

Return Flight

Download the Blakehill Farm disused aerodrome waypoint to add to your scenery for the trip! (Thanks again to David H)

The return flight will be via Blakehill Farm disused (grass) Aerodrome, through Fairford's Military Aerodrome Traffic Zone (MATZ) then Shrivenham, Compton VOR (114.35), Blackbushe Aerodrome (NDB 328.0), Ockham VOR (115.30). An FSNavigator flight plan and a Qikplanner flightplan are available here. Immediately after turning away from the Water Tower, Call Brize Radar (134.30) for Fairford MATZ penetration. Give your callsign position and route details and simply "request MATZ (pronounced mats as in rugs) penetration". As you approach Shrivenham, Fairford should give you "clear of my airspace, reseume own navigation" or similar information. Remember to descend to 2400 feet maximum about 7nm past Compton to remain clear of the London TMA above which starts 9 miles southeast of Compton.
Charts etc. If anyone hasn't got access to official CAA charts, if they say so in the conference, we can try and address it.
Training If anyone wants to learn how to fly by VOR/DME pairs, you can download a simple instrument flying guide and read the section on VOR Tracking on page 26.

Kemble (EGBP)

Airfield elevation 435 ft above sea level.

Latitude North 51 degrees,40.08 minutes. Longitude West 002 degrees, 03.37 minutes
4.5 miles SW of Cirencester
Kemble is 33 nautical miles from Compton VOR on a bearing of 294 degrees
Kemble is 46.5 nautical miles from Daventry VOR on a bearing of 232 degrees
There is no NDB at Kemble.
Runways 09/27 1833 metres long : 13/31 805 metres - both plenty for us.

Beware There are several other airfields nearby, including Lyneham 10 nm S : Briize Norton 17nm ENE : Oaksey Park (unlicensed) 3 miles SE : Charlton Park (unlicensed) 4nm S : Aston Down (used by gliders) 4nm NW.

Radio "Brize Radar" on 134.30 for Lower Airspace Radar Service (LARS)
"Lyneham Zone" on 123.40 alternative LARS.
"Kemble Hard" on 119.42
"Kemble Grass" on 134.55
"Kemble information" (ATIS) on 118.90 (There may not be a recorded voice ATIS on Vatsim)
There may be special frequencies for the rally (as there are in real world for the rally). Advice will be posted here.
Acknowledgment Thanks to Ruth McTighe for advising the Club of this challenging event.
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